Understanding the moderating role of ‘gender’ in students’ acceptance of distance learning: The case of Makerere University
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Over the past 25 years, Uganda has implemented universal access in education policy. This has increased the number of male and female learners eligible for university education. Unfortunately, Makerere University is still predominantly an on-campus university, whose physical infrastructure has not developed to match the numbers. As such, some interested applicants’ miss out, often with obvious gender related issues. Distance learning allows for teaching and learning happening remotely, so it can potentially address this mismatch, if gender differences in awareness and preferences are addressed. Thus, a cross sectional study was conducted to establish learners’ awareness and perceptions of distance learning. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected. Findings show that what male and female students know, and their perceptions of distance learning, are influenced by positive and negative views they hold. Potential benefits of distance learning to challenges arising from gender roles did not influence awareness and perceptions. The paper highlights a need for awareness raising about distance learning.